News

Anupama Kaul

Anupama Kaul named director of the UNT PACCAR Technology Institute

Anupama Kaul (EE Ph.D. 2000) has been named director of the University of North Texas College of Engineering’s PACCAR (Pacific Car and Foundry Company) Technology Institute.  Kaul was a task manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology before joining the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering, and the AT&T Distinguished Professor.  She will now be the PACCAR professor in engineering and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UNT.  “I am honored to serve as director of the PACCAR Technology Institute and look forward to the exciting ways in which the institute will embrace interdisciplinary research in strategic areas of national and global significance, with nanotechnology as a core enabling element,” she said.

Sam Blackman

Sam Blackman is dead at 41

EE alumnus Sam Blackman (M.S.E. '99)  died over the weekend of a reported cardiac arrest at age 41.  He was the chief executive and co-founder of AWS Elemental, and considered one of the highest-profile tech executives in Portland.  He worked at Silicon Graphics and Intel, and spent six years designing integrated circuit products at Pixelworks, before leaving to form Elemental.  He is credited with building it into one of the city's biggest startup successes.  Amazon bought Elemental in 2015 for $296 million.

Andrew Ng and Prof. Pieter Abbeel

Heroes of Deep Learning: Andrew Ng interviews Pieter Abbeel

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), one of the world's leading authorities on AI, interviews EE Prof. Pieter Abbeel for Heroes of Deep Learning, an interview series from Ng's cousera course, Deep learning AI.  “Work in Artificial Intelligence in the EECS department at Berkeley involves foundational research in core areas of knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, planning, decision-making, vision, robotics, speech and language processing," Abbeel says. "There are also significant efforts aimed at applying algorithmic advances to applied problems in a range of areas, including bioinformatics, networking and systems, search and information retrieval. There are active collaborations with several groups on campus, including the campus-wide vision sciences group, the information retrieval group at the I-School and the campus-wide computational biology program. There are also connections to a range of research activities in the cognitive sciences, including aspects of psychology, linguistics, and philosophy. Work in this area also involves techniques and tools from statistics, neuroscience, control, optimization, and operations research. Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR)."

Charles Giancarlo, the new CEO of Pure Storage

Charles Giancarlo named CEO of Pure Storage

EE Alumnus Charles Giancarlo (M.S. '80) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Pure Storage, the market's leading independent all-flash data platform vendor for the cloud era.   Giancarlo previously served in senior executive roles at Silver Lake Partners and Cisco Systems, Inc.  "Charlie is an exceptionally talented leader with a three-decade track record of driving growth and innovation at leading global technology companies," said outgoing CEO Scott Dietzen.

Nima Jafarian, VP of Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

Nima Jafarian appointed VP of Product Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

EE alumnus Nima Jafarian (B.S. '04) has been appointed Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at PowerSphyr, one of the world’s most innovative providers of wireless power technology.   He is responsible for leading product management and marketing for SkyCurrent™, a ground-breaking wireless power system which combines near-field and far-field technology in a single system to deliver wireless power to electronic devices without cords or cable.  Jafarian began his career at National Semiconductor developing BiCMOS processes for power management ICs and subsequently held marketing and R&D roles with Analog Devices and Peregrine Semiconductor.  Prior to joining PowerSphyr, he spent five years at Lumileds in global product management and channel marketing.

Andrew Ng is one of the world's leading authorities on AI

Andrew Ng is one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02, adviser: Michael Jordan) has been singled out by NewsCenter.io as one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution.  Ng founded the “Google Brain” project, which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms.  He led the AI group at Baidu, China’s largest search engine company, which directed research into advertising, maps, take-out delivery, voice and internet searching, security, consumer finance, among others. Ng also co-founded Coursera, an online education company that has raised more than $200 million venture capital funding.  He is also currently an adjuct professor at Stanford.

Grant Ho, Mobin Javed, Vern Paxson and David Wagner win 2017 Internet Defense Prize

CS graduate student Grant Ho, Aashish Sharma (LBNL),  CS alumna Mobin Javed (Ph.D. 2016), and CS Profs. Vern Paxson and David Wagner have won the 2017 Internet Defense Prize, worth $100,000, for their paper "Detecting Credential Spearphishing in Enterprise Settings."  CS graduate student Thurston Dang,  Petros Maniatis (Google Brain), and Prof. David Wagner, were finalists for their paper "Oscar: A Practical Page-Permissions-Based Scheme for Thwarting Dangling Pointers."  The award, which is funded by Facebook and offered in partnership with USENIX, recognizes research that meaningfully makes the internet more secure.

Barbara Grosz receives ACL Lifetime Achievement Award

Alumna Barbara Grosz (CS M.S. '71/Ph.D. '77), Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).  The award recognizes the work of a researcher who has made sustained and impactful contributions to the field of Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing. Grosz has spent her career working to make human-computer interactions as fluent as human-to-human interaction. Her recent research has focused on fundamental problems in modeling collaborative activity, developing systems ("agents") able to collaborate with each other and their users, and constructing collaborative, multi-modal systems for human-computer communication.  Her current research projects focus on using results of prior work to improve health care coordination and enhance K-12 science education.

Jonathan Maltz to lead clinical studies of HeartSentry

EE alumnus Jonathan S. Maltz (Ph.D. EE '99) is serving as the lead researcher and Chief Scientific Advisor during the clinical trials of HeartSentry, a non-invasive diagnostic tool to measure and monitor cardiovascular health.   HeartSentry is being developed at Lexington Biosciences, a development-stage medical device company in Vancouver, Canada.  It is the product of 15-years of research at U.C. Berkeley.  Maltz has had over 16 years experience designing new devices for assessing vascular function and evaluating these on human subjects.

Yannis Ioannidis and the Greek spin-off that will become the voice of Samsung

CS alumnus Yannis Ioannidis (Ph.D. '86) is featured in an article about Samsung's purchase of Greek text-to-speech company Innoetics for close to 50 million euros.  Ioannidis is president of the ATHENA Research & Innovation Center, which nurtured the startup and provided critical support during its evolution and the development of its technology. Innoetics' text-to-speech software learns languages by listening to native speakers, whose voices it can then mimic with great accuracy.  It is currently fluent in 19 languages. Samsung plans to use the technology across a wide range of its product ecosystem.  Ioannidis says that, as a result of the purchase, “any voice emanating from a Samsung device in the years to come will be ‘Greek,’ the product of Greek technology.”  Ioannidis is currently a professor of Informatics and Telecommunications at the University of Athens.